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The element could have a very fine crack in it, not readily visible. You must use a voltmeter to test if the element is getting power when the switch is turned on. If it is getting power, then the element is bad. If no power, then test the switch to see if it is sending power when turned on.
If your Griddler is still under warranty (3 yr warranty), Cuisinart will replace the entire unit for free. They do not replace knobs. (Cusinart knows if your warranty is valid by the serial number engraved in the bottom of your Griddler). You need to call Cuisart Customer Service at 1-800-726-0190 to get your Griddler replaced. You must pay a $10 shipping fee to get the new Griddler sent to your place, and you must return your broken one in the box they send you, and you pay for the return shipping.
What happens is that the upper post (see the back of the plates; there's a quarter inch wide post) slides into a slot not designed for it (too small). To fix, find the post. Slide a table knife in between the plate and the griddler, and twist. This should un-jam the post and free the plate.