If you remember the movie, they referred to the Merc keys as both "laser cut keys" and "laser cut transponder keys"
The important part of the description is "transponder". The transponder is the only part of the key that is an theft protectant.
There is a receiver that must receive an exact signal from the corresponding transponder key to start the car.
I don't believe being laser cut is an theft deterrant. A key works by pushing against springs on the inside of the lock. This method itself allows for some error. Making laser cut keys would not be any different than having them machine cut, forged, filed with sandpaper or latino cut...
As long as the pins are pushed up in the lock, the key will turn. I think the laser cut feature is a gimmick.
Our cars have the transponder keys and corresponding receivers.
Have you guys seen Benz keys? Well, I don't know about previous or other models, but 2001 S-class's key has no metal part. That key's really cool. The key has computer chip or whatever in it, and it sends signal to the car when it's in the ignition switch. If the signal does not corresponds, you can't turn on the engine. I think that car is unstealable unless the thief has the exact same key for that particular car.
I believe they refer to center channel cut keys as laser-cut. Ask a locksmith about picking one of these and he will tell you that "picking" one of these locks a great deal harder than a traditional key design. But the trnsponder does work wonders as well.
Yes, I read an article re: the new Lexus keys and locks long ago. One of the situations they mentioned was someone locking keys inthe car, and a locksmith trying to open it. After four hours the locksmith gave up.