Something that's defective doesn't work quite right, because it's damaged in some way. Your defective car probably won't make it all the way to California from New York.
Defective things are broken or flawed. A defective blender won't mix your morning smoothie the way you want it to, and a defective law doesn't serve the people it's meant to protect. A very old-fashioned meaning of defective, which is considered quite offensive today, is "mentally ill" or "mentally handicapped." The Late Latin root is defectivus, "to fail, revolt, or desert."