Centrifuge testing has been undertaken to investigate instability failure of pile groups during seismic liquefaction, with specific reference to the 'top-down' propagation of liquefaction during the earthquake and to account for initial imperfections in pile geometry. The results of these tests were used to validate numerical models within the finite element program ABAQUS, based on the popular p-y analysis method. Pseudostatic classical and post-buckling analyses were conducted to examine the collapse behaviour of the pile groups and were found to give reasonable predictions of collapse load and conservative predictions of the associated deflection conditions. This numerical model was compared to currently published methods which were found to over-predict collapse loads. The resulting insights into the collapse of axially loaded pile groups revealed that the failure load is strongly dependent on both the depth of liquefaction propagation and initial imperfections, which reduce the collapse load.