Volkswagen investors are seeking around £8.2 billion in damages from the manufacturer in court amid claims that it did not admit the dieselgate emissions cheating scandal sooner.
A near-40% drop in share prices followed news of the scandal back in September 2015 and shareholders representing 1,670 claims are now seeking compensation in a legal action brought by the Deka investment fund.
The BBC reported that interest in the hearing, which involves around 50 lawyers, was so great that it had been moved from the Braunschweig higher regional court, in Germany, to a nearby conference centre.
Claimants against the Volkswagen Group claim that it failed in its duty to inform investors about the financial impact of the scandal, which had become public after the US Environmental Protection Agency issued a “notice of violation”.
They claim that many would have been able to mitigate losses if they had been told by the German manufacturer by selling shares earlier or not making purchases.
Andreas Tilp, a lawyer for the claimants, said: "VW should have told the market that they cheated.”
The Volkswagen Group said in a statement to the BBC that the lawsuit was “solely and exclusively” about whether Volkswagen complied with its disclosure obligations toward shareholders and the capital markets.
The statement added that Volkswagen Group was "confident" it had carried out its obligations correctly.