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Why Takata Has the Worst Reputation

Trey Thoelcke

A company’s reputation can have a meaningful impact on its bottom line, and vice versa. Poor quality of products or services, specific events and even political convictions can contribute to a poor reputation. Wells Fargo, Volkswagen and Takata have all been involved in scandals, while politics comes in to play at places like Chick-fil-A and and Halliburton. Companies with poor reputations often lose money and have plummeting share prices. As such a company continues to lose money, it likely will be forced to cut corners, doing itself no favors in terms of customer service and reputation.

The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient measures public opinion on the nation’s most recognizable companies. Respondents were asked to rate companies based on six components: emotional appeal, products and services, vision and leadership, workplace environment, social responsibility, and financial performance. 24/7 Wall St. recently reviewed the companies with the highest and lowest reputation quotients.

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While e-commerce giant Amazon.com's reputation remains the best among the nation’s 100 most recognizable companies, Takata now has the worst reputation:

1. Takata
> 2017 reputation score: 48.70
> 2016 reputation score: N/A
> Industry: Automotive parts
> CEO: Shigehisa Takada

In its first year among the Harris Poll’s 100 most visible businesses in the U.S., Takata debuts with the lowest reputation quotient of any company. Many Americans have likely become aware in recent years of the Japanese automotive parts manufacturer as the result of its massive airbag recall. The recall began in April 2013, when several Japanese automakers called back some 3.6 million cars over a two-month period. In what has become the largest automotive safety recall in history, nearly 70 million airbags in 42 million vehicles have been recalled. The faulty airbags have resulted in at least 11 deaths and 180 injuries in the United States, the impending resignation of the Takata CEO, and the worst reputation of any major company.

ALSO READ: Companies With the Best (and Worst) Reputations

Financial services companies tend to have the worst reputations of any major businesses. Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs came in second and third, respectively, on the most recent list. Others in the top 10 included Volkswagen and Monsanto. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the same companies from the worst reputations list also showed up in the recent 24/7 Wall St. review of America's .

To determine America’s most and least reputable companies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed reputation scores among the nation’s 100 most recognizable companies from the 2017 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ), produced by Harris Interactive. In addition, we considered company consumer satisfaction scores from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and company information from SEC filings.

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For the full methodology and the complete list of companies with the best and worst reputations, see the 24/7 Wall St. analysis.

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