I just talked to one of their technical support folks (they’re apparently a division of DR, the company that makes the giant field mowers and stuff one sees advertised on TV, which I find slightly amusing). They’re sending a replacement for the key socket assembly, no charge. The guy said he didn’t think it’d be a problem, given that I was able to correct the misalignment with the key itself, but we might as well replace it anyway.
Replacing this bit apparently does require the use of one tool – a screwdriver. You’ve got to love modular technology.
Anyway, since it’s working correctly, there’s no need to wait for the new part to get here – it’s just a contingency measure – so I may as well go and do the back 40 now. More in the gripping saga of the electric mower later.