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I really liked the turn it upside down and shake it idea.
Kind of like a toaster.... My key got stiff a few times so I shot some lock lubricant in there (silicone spray) and slid the key in and out a bunch to get the tumblers moving around. No problems since..:shrug:
 

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I hope you took notes on the exact order of each action you took in case you have to repeat the process.

If you have the dealer check it, please report back on what they say. Chances are, whatever the problem, some combination of the actions you took and time got you back on the road. These are the kinds of things where you wish you could just say you reached in with some fine tweezers and found a random sesame seed from the burger you ate on the road the day before and that fixed the problem. Unfortunately, you don't know if it was stiff and the lubricant fixed it; there was debris that gradually became dislodged, you had some sort of electrical anomaly that came and went; etc.
 

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Similar situation.
Key felt "funny" going in, a bit reluctant. It would not turn.
Looked this thread up. I got out the shop vac and WD-40.
Vacuumed the key hole and sprayed lube.

The key went in easily, but still would not turn.

I TRIED to get the console up to find the elusive yellow lever. The console would not budge.
Finger tips quite sore, came inside to check that I was doing that correctly.

Went back out and key moved! Then easily.

Like BB Benz said, "Sometimes it just takes time for penetrating lubricant to find the right spot!"

So, likely a bit of McDonald's French Fry or something.

It is not the "smart"est design.
 

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Now in June 2020 I have a 2013 Smart Car ForTwo and the exact same issue. Battery ok, locks and unlocks ok. Wife brought me the spare key and still key not turning. Tow truck driver tried everything then the car was towed to the Smart Car Dealer in Clearwater. Next day received a call that the "Key Set" has to be replaced. $1,500 total cost for parts, labor etc. When you are stuck on the road was not thinking of searching the forums. Hopefully, you have read the post above and give that a try prior to turning the car over to the dealer. Not that it would have changed my situation but would have liked to try that fix.
 

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One of my few complaints with the car is the key location. Idiotic, moronic, stupid, impractical all come to mind. Keyway open to debris, spills. Key subject to accidental side impact when inserted. And then of course, there’s the replacement cost.
 

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Well, you know... If you put the engine in backwards, who's gonna notice a little thing like the key being in an awkward place. Hey, for all I know, that's how a Saab jet is configured. That, or they were just drunk.
 
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