Mercedes Ignition Keys

My wife's key recently stopped working on our '99 E320 wagon and, after trying a new battery in the fob with no success, we purchased a new key from the dealer. Subsequently I've heard that these keys usually don't
break or wear out, but that they 'time out', i.e., they only are programmed to start the vehicle a limited number of times, say 100,000, after which they must be replaced. Also, that the ignition system itself will only work for a limited number of starts, say 600,000, after which it too must be replaced Can this possibly be true?
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I don't know if those particular numbers are correct, but it is true that after a certain number of uses the "smart" keys and computer components that control the ignition are going to have to be replaced. There was an example posted on the internet that told how long it would take to reach the limit for an average driver to exceed the limit and it was quite long, so I decided to not worry about it. I think it has to do with the finite number of rolling codes (which change with each use) that are available to the system..
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