Definitely sounds like it could be a hardware issue. These Airs are relatively easy to get open. I would certainly pop the bottom off and have a look (unplug the battery of course, before you start monkeying with anything).
Your issue could lie in a few places. On the M1 model, the keyboard plugs into a small board around the underside of the trackpad. And a little arm of a flex cable connects that board into the trackpad cable (technically Apple calls it the IPD cable for this reason), which then goes to the logic board for the system. If you're lucky you'll just have to reseat one or both of these cables. You can see what I mean here
I will also mention it is a common place to get liquid damage. It's much more typical for there to be an issue with the trackpad, but even if you don't think you've ever spilled, it's a spot that's fairly susceptible to even a small amount.
If you’re still not having any luck, the MacBook Keyboard Not Working troubleshooting page has a host of other fixes for this issue.
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You may want to see if your system is still covered under warranty, if it is I would let Apple fix it as that would be the cheaper answer.
I'm also having issues with both the keyboard and the trackpad of my M1 late 2020 macbook air 13" which spontaneously stopped working, even though the computer still works with an external keyboard and trackpad. As far as I'm concerned, there has been no physical damage; I put the computer to sleep after working and when turning it on again, these components weren't reacting. Anyone else has experienced this?
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