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Chrysler Pacifica Commercial Appears To Show Actor Using Transmission Shift Knob To Adjust Volume

Screengrabs from: Chrysler (YouTube)

Chrysler has somehow managed to highlight the Chrysler Pacifica’s biggest flaw in this commercial featuring actor Kathryn Hahn. That biggest flaw, as we noted in our review, is a shifter dial that can easily be mistaken for a volume knob, and Chrysler appears to show Hahn doing just that in this commercial.

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“My biggest complaint is the rotary knob used as a shifter, which has a shape, look, and location exactly where everything in my brain says ‘volume control,’” Jason Torchinsky wrote in his review a couple of years ago. “And I grabbed it more than once looking to raise or lower the volume, instead putting myself in N instead of D,” he continued.

It’s a flaw that’s been highlighted by a number of other car reviewers, and it’s one that this commercial—mentioned by Fadic4 on Reddit this morning—brings lots of attention to (almost certainly unintentionally):

The mistake happens 25 seconds into the clip, when Hahn turns down Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $,” which she had been blasting through the Pacifica’s giant cabin, dancing as she waited at the curb to pick her kids up from school.

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Just as the children open the sliding door, the clip shows Hahn turning off the music, and she can be seen immediately thereafter with her hand still on the dial. Except it wasn’t the volume dial, it was the rotary shifter.

Photo by: Jason Torchinsky
Photo by: Jason Torchinsky

It’s possible that Hahn was shifting the car into park (the car does appear to be in “P” as she talks to her children) after dancing at the curb with her foot on the brake and the car in drive. And it’s possible that the volume-adjustment happened off-camera prior to a shift into “P.”

But what matters in any commercial is what it looks like, and it looks like a gaffe.

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Reaching for the wrong dial is easy mistake to make, as Jason Torchinsky points out in the graphic above, but for a company to mistake its own transmission dial for a volume dial—especially in an advertisement—would be absurdly silly. I’ve reached out to Chrysler to learn more.

h/t: Fadic4/Reddit

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

E46M_Thrizzle
E46M_Thrizzle

It is a volume knob.

P - Pipe it down

R - Really loud

N - Not so loud

D - Dude this is my jam, crank it up

L - Low (duh)