Process-induced defects in electroplated Au interconnect metallization on GaAs devices were detected during the course of reliability testing. Abnormally high lognormal sigma values (σ > 0.7) indicated the existence of a bi-modal failure mechanism. A distinct early lifetime failure mode was observed along with the intrinsic electromigration metallization wear-out failure mode. Physical characterization of the electroplated Au film revealed as-deposited nanoscale voids. Elimination of these voids through process improvement as well as suggested mechanisms for the early failures are discussed.