McLaughlin was on his crucial final flying lap in the second of today's rapid-fire qualifying sessions when he came across a slow-moving Jacobson, who was on an out-lap, in the final sector.
The pair made light contact at the final corner as McLaughlin desperately tried to finish his lap.
Jacobson immediately took responsibility for the clash after the session, personally apologising to McLaughlin before explaining how it happened to broadcaster Fox Sports.
"I'm disgusted with myself," he said. "I went straight up to McLaughlin straight away and apologised.
"It was a communication error, to be honest. I thought I had more time behind me and didn't hear anything on the radio about a car approaching at Turn 10 or 11. I went to get going as soon as I saw him coming, and it was too late.
"I'm really gutted for Scott McLaughlin, I apologised to him straight away and I'll wear it. We need to improve our communication as a team. Scott had every right to be upset. He said 'you should have known that I was coming' and I said 'hey, I thought I had more time, I didn't know on the radio you were as close to me as you were'.
"The out-laps at the moment, everyone is going slower and slower. Usually the go point is at Turn 8, but the whole pack is backed up. We're at the back of the grid, where our team is situated in pitlane, so we're always one of the first to meet the people on their flying laps.
"It's on me and it's on my engineer to make sure we keep our communication up on the out-laps.
"In the end, all I can say is I'm sorry to Scott McLaughlin and that it was my fault."
McLaughlin estimated the time loss at around three-tenths, which would have been enough for him to grab pole ahead of Todd Hazelwood.
Instead the points leader will start today's final heat from 10th.
"It's the difference between us being on the front two rows," he said.
"I just went and told Garry, the onus is his team to tell him where we are.
"We haven't had a problem all weekend, but you can only leave so much of a gap. Everyone is in the same boat, you can't be selfish about your gaps.
"It was just one of those things. He apologised. I'm still pissed off, but it is what it is."
Jacobson was slapped with a post-session three-place grid penalty, which he'll serve at a future race given he qualified last.