The chip in the black appears to be a cosmetic default most likely happening during transit.
The heating element is covered with a high temperature black paint before assembly. The black paint does nothing for producing heat but is rather put on the element for cosmetic reasons only as it makes the heating element look better.
At times (even after use) some of the black paint will crack or chip away. This has no consequence on the heat output or performance of the heater at all.
If you are concerned about the appearance of the element, you could cover the cracks/chips with some high temperature appliance paint (typically found at hardware stores for use on bbq grills, ovens, etc).
We would suggest that you turn the unit on and begin use. Please note that it is common for the heater to produce a small amount of smoke the first time that you start up the heater. This is the process of the element burning off any excess moisture or oils on the element. After the initial heat up, the unit should never produce smoke again.