UPDATE: The limited service campaign issued by Toyota, and reported on by Consumer Reports, is actually unchanged from our earlier report in July. New reports led us to believe that there was further action regarding the Camry Hybrid brake fluid reservoir issue, but ultimately the same campaign was at the root of it. We apologize for indicating otherwise.
It looks like Consumer Reports might be getting part of what it wants regarding the Toyota Camry Hybrid and its braking system. Toyota is issuing what it calls a limited service campaign, rather than a full recall, covering about 177,500 of the hybrid sedans from the 2007 through 2011 model years because of an issue with the cars' brake fluid reservoirs.
The models have a filter separating two chambers of the brake fluid reservoir, and the part can get clogged over time. If this happens, the fluid level in one of the chambers can get too low and eventually cause the power assist to fail. There are multiple warning lights on the dashboard that illuminate over time if the filter gets obstructed, though. The company is replacing the entire reservoir with an improved unit, and the fix takes about two hours to perform.
Consumer Reports recently began asking for a recall on these models for the potentially clogged filters. The magazine also reported a second issue with the ABS brake actuator that could lead to a difficult to depress brake, but Toyota has increased the warranty on the part to 10 years or 150,000 miles.
Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight explained why this isn't a full recall to Autoblog via email. "If Toyota determines that an issue presents an 'unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,' per the Safety Act, the company will conduct a safety recall," she said. It doesn't think this case rises to that level, but it's still notifying owners, and they "are provided a free repair," until June 30, 2017. If they already paid to have the problem fixed, it's possible to have the money reimbursed. Check out the gallery for all of the details.