Retrofit kit on recalled grill unsafe?

During a routine flare-up test earlier this year, the bottom of the Broil King Signet 90's firebox began melting. Molten metal dripped down under the grill, barely missing the hand of one of the testers.

Three grills of the same model were tested, and all had problems. Consumer Reports named the Broil King Signet 90, model number 986784LP, "not acceptable" and notified its maker, Onward Manufacturing of Canada. The grill was voluntarily recalled in May.

Since then, the company developed a retrofit kit consisting of a stainless-steel baffle to put in the bottom of the firebox. Consumer Reports tested the kit, which was sent free to people who own the grill. The company is also including it with new grills.

Consumer Reports found that the kit worked well on a grill bought after the recall. Although there was quite a bit of flare-up, there was no damage to the firebox.

However, the retrofit kit was also tested on a grill bought before the recall, and the firebox deformed.

"The firebox dips down," Consumer Reports' Bob Markovich said. "This is the way it looked when the grill was brand new. There is no deformation. We expect any product fix to provide consistent results. In this case, the variable results give us concern."

The Broil King Signet 90 is no longer judged as "not acceptable," but if you own the grill, take precautions.

"Be sure to install the retrofit kit," Markovich said. "Inspect the firebox periodically for signs of damage and avoid cooking on the highest heat setting, called 'Pow-R-Zone.'"

If you own one of these grills, you can get a retrofit kit from Onward Manufacturing by calling (800) 265-2150.


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