FRANKFURT, Germany — Investor lawsuits claiming up to 4 billion euros, or about $4.5 billion, in damages against Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal are moving ahead in German courts.

The district court in Braunschweig said it has sent the cases onward to the regional court for selection of a model plaintiff from among several hundred private and institutional investors. A decision on the model plaintiff’s case could then be applied to others who have brought suit.

Investors claim that Volkswagen did not inform them in a timely way of the impending scandal over cars with software that enabled them to cheat on emissions tests in the United States, depriving them of a chance to decide whether to sell the stock.

Volkswagen says it met its legal disclosure responsibilities.

The company has reached a $15 billion settlement with U.S. authorities under which it will buy back or fix rigged cars, compensate owners and contribute money to promote zero-emission vehicles.