Model 20070311, about 2 years old. Has been used 15-20 times. I'm pretty sure its a Gen 1. Started a smoke at about 6:00 PM yesterday, and at 11:00 it was still heating normally at 220 degrees. When I got up this morning at about 6:30 I immediately noticed the temp was down to 82, with both green and red lights on controller lit. I tried cycling on/off a few times and disconnected/reconnected power with no change. The element was simply not heating. I removed the cover on the back to access the wiring to the element, and the pictures above tell the story. Its been very hot in that wiring box. The small amount of wire that I can see appears OK, but the slide-on connectors are completely burned away, one of the rubber wire grommets melted, and the tabs on the two element ends are badly rusted. Of course I will be on the phone with MB in the morning, and I am assuming they will send a new element, but in the mean time: I saw some older references to the possibility of under-sized wiring having been used in some MB units. Could that have caused this? I'm curious as to why the connectors were totally burned, one of the wire grommets was heat damaged, and yet the wire I can see does not APPEAR to be burned. Could the element shorting have caused it? Visual inspection of it does not reveal any obvious defects. To change the element, the chip loading assembly must be removed. I use an AMNPS, so can I just leave the chip loader out permanently? Thanks for any and all advice or help.