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Tesla was the only automaker in the top 10, while Toyota achieved the highest reputation score among established rivals.

Takata held the bottom position in the 2017 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ranking, which estimates the perceived reputation among the 100 most visible companies in the US market.

Takata's 'RQ' score of just 48.7 is undoubtedly tied to the exploding airbag recalls. The defect both elevated the brand to a household name and immediately tarnished its image due to millions of recalls and more than a dozen associated fatal accidents.

Volkswagen tied Toyota for the biggest improvement between the 2016 and 2017 surveys. In the wake of the diesel emissions scandal, the German automaker has not emerged from the bottom 10 with a score of 63.5, however. Comcast, BP and Time Warner all received slightly better scores.

"After experiencing a very sharp decline in 2016 following its emissions scandal, Volkswagen begins to earn back reputation equity, while Toyota climbs from 'Good' to 'Excellent,'" the report said.

Tesla was the only automaker in the top ranks, holding the ninth spot with a score of 81.7. The company was not far behind Google (82.0), Apple (82.07) and overall winner Amazon.com (86.27).

"In its premier year, Tesla's reputation is not only strong but unique," Harris Poll said. "While most in the Top 10 are familiar and accessible, Tesla is highly regarded despite relatively limited brand experience - it remains aspirational. The strength of Tesla's reputation and visibility of its CEO are in a position to influence the direction of auto technology."

Toyota held the highest position among established automakers with a score of 80.21, good enough for the 16th position, while BMW Group and Honda were near the bottom of the top 30 companies. Hyundai was in the top 50, ahead of Ford (64th), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (73rd) and General Motors (77th).